Award-winning teacher with unconventional style to speak at Kent State



Megan Wilkinson

Sarah Brown Wessling doesn’t just teach out of a textbook. The high school teacher from Iowa brings innovation to the classroom and won 2010’s National Teacher of the Year award.

Wessling will speak about her unusual style of teaching to 21st-century learners at the Kiva Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. Wessling’s speech, titled “Worthy Learning: Students are Worth the Learning that’s Worth Doing,” focuses on how teachers should overcome challenges in the classroom to seek innovation, said Linda Robertson, the outreach program director of the Center for International and Intercultural Education.

Wessling has been teaching grades 10 through 12 at Johnston High School in Johnston, Iowa for almost 12 years, said Jon Quam, National Teacher of the Year program director. Robertson said Kent State invites the National Teacher of the Year to speak to students and faculty every year.

“Kent State is one of seven places that is on the NTY schedule every year,” Robertson said. “We are honored that we have had this for over 20 years.”

Quam said Wessling individualizes her classes by using technology in every conceivable way, including using her iPod to record notes for students as she corrects papers. The students are then able to pick those comments up off of a website or through e-mail.

Robertson said she recommends that all students interested in a career in education should attend the event. There is an invitational reception after the event.

“I know she’s a wonderful representative of the great teaching that goes on in this country every day,” Quam said.

Contact Megan Wilkinson at [email protected].